When was the last time you needed to carry cash? With the rise of card machines and mobile payments, these days, it’s rare. It’s even easy to pay your friends the money you owe without forking over exact change; many apps like Uber allow bill splitting, and money transfers are more convenient than ever.
Credit is now king, ranking as the No. 1 preferred form of payment in TSYS’s 2016 U.S. Consumer Payment Study for the first time in the study’s history. It’s clear we’re moving towards a cashless society. With that in mind, here are seven reasons to drop the paper and pick up the plastic today.
1. No more carrying cash
It sounds awfully intuitive, but one of the best reasons to go cashless is not having to carry cash. No more fumbling in your pockets for exact change, having bills bulk up your wallet or even accidentally putting that crisp new $20 through the laundry machine. Be sure to choose a low-interest credit card option, and resolve to be one of those financially savvy consumers who pays the balance in full each month.
2. Build up your credit
Having good credit will make it easier to get a bank loan or take out a mortgage, but it takes a while to secure a good credit score. It’s essential to start building your credit early, and making purchases on a credit card is the easiest way to do this. By putting more purchases on your credit card today—and paying off the balance in full each month—it will be easier to make bigger financial decisions in the future.
3. It’s more secure than you think
If you drop cash on the street, chances are it’s gone forever. With mobile payments, credit and debit transactions, your bank has tight security measures to ensure that your money stays with you. If by chance your account does get compromised, your bank will reimburse you for lost funds.
4. Rewards points can get you that dream vacation
Everybody loves free things, so why wouldn’t you work to get free rewards on your purchases? Chains like Starbucks will give you a free drink after you earn rewards by paying via their mobile app, and most credit cards will offer rewards points or cash back on your purchases. Think of it as the modern-day punch card—keep swiping that credit card, and it might eventually get you to Hawaii.
5. Because nobody cleans their cash … ever
It’s no secret that coins and bills are covered in bacteria that can make you sick. We’d never carry around somebody’s used tissue in our back pocket, so why would we carry around cash in the same way? Nobody touches your credit card except for you, and that’s as good a reason as any to ditch the paper and coins.
6. Splitting bills is easy
Finding exact change to pay your friend back for dinner can be a small nightmare. Thankfully, apps like Venmo make it easy to transfer money electronically, and even apps like Uber now offer a bill splitting option. Going cashless means no more figuring out how to break your $50 bill or counting out a pile of singles.
7. Easily track your spending
One of the best parts of paying electronically is seeing exactly where your money goes. When you put everything on a card, the e-statements are a window into your spending habits, which makes it easier to budget. With cash, a $5 latte here or there feels like nothing—there’s no trace of the transaction and the number in your bank account doesn’t change. Putting everything on a card means that you’ll know exactly where all your money went, for better or for worse.
Making the switch to going completely cashless is easier than ever. The future is coinless, so make the move now and explore the benefits of cashless spending.